"Your life is going to change forever."
I can't count how many times I heard that while my wife was pregnant. When Hayden "Bubsy" Spierings came into the world, there was definitely some adjusting to do. One of those changes was in my workout schedule.
|Kristen Van Kley pushes 6.5 month old son in a stroller|
From that experience, I've cobbled together some tips for the ever ambitious triathlete when two becomes three.
There'll be plenty to do when you get home from work, so those lunchtime workouts become key. Keep a pair of sneakers at work for lunchtime runs and/or join a gym close to your work to make the most of the time you have alone.
Some equipment investments need to be made so that family and workout time can be combined. A running stroller -- we have the Bob Revolution -- is great for runs and walks. Some new parents are nervous about using it for a newborn. We waited about three months, but baby Hayden loves the rocking vibrations and sights and sounds while we run. We take it on the back streets and, of course, West Cliff Drive is a popular baby stroller location.
You can also bike with baby. We bought a bike chariot off a friend and an orange safety flag from the Bicycle Trip bike shop on Soquel Avenue. After that, we were ready to go. Babies grow quickly, I'm told, so a lot of second-hand stuff can be found lightly used. It's a bit of a struggle to get the helmet strap over Hayden's chubby chin, but he is equally content attached to the rear axle of a bike as to the stroller.
Swimming is a great non-weight-bearing exercise for the new mom, as many find running and cycling uncomfortable postpartum. Luckily, Hayden loves the water and is happy to get swapped between us while one of us swims. You will want to get some water-proof diapers.
So don't be discouraged when your workouts are no longer on the top of the priority list. There are still some ways to get your heart beating without employing a full-time nanny or even compromising family time too much.
Article first appeared in "In the Long Run" column of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.